ἀμφιθαλ́ης, one who has both parents alive; cf. Ar. Aves 1737, Legg. 927 The D. word was closely connected in early days with the allimportant idea of luck. It was thought that an orphan was proved by his misfortune to be no favourite of the gods; hence, acc. to the Schol. on Pind. O. iii. 60, the boy who led the Daphnephoria had to be “ἀμφιθαλής”. In Roman ritual patrimi et matrimi had similar privileges (e.g. Livy, 37. 3. 6; H. iv. 53). In modern Albania, at the baking of the marriage-loaf, ‘the first to touch the dough must be a virgin who has both parents living, as well as brothers, the more the better; for such a one is considered lucky, however poor she may be, and she wishes the married couple equal luck’ (von Hahn, Alb. Stud. i. 144). ‘The same thought underlies the following phrase, which an orphan will say to one whose parents are both alive, “You are lucky, you may well talk, the black ox has not yet trodden on you”’ (ibid. p. 196, n. 9).
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.